One year out from Election Day 2024, we’re examining trending voter priorities and calling attention to the most salient issues informing Americans’ decisions as they determine who to vote for next year.
As the election season kicks off in earnest, here are four voter priorities to watch:
1. Voters are clear about their concerns around kitchen-table issues like the economy and inflation.
- An October Morning Consult poll shows 73% of voters cite the economy as a very important issue when deciding who to vote for in the 2024 federal election, followed by national security (65%) and crime (63%).
- Recent Gallup polling shows voters cite economic problems, like the economy and the high cost of living, as the most important issue facing the country today.
2. When it comes to health care issues specifically, voters are most worried about the quality and cost of their health insurance coverage. They want insurance to work like insurance.
- Data from the 2023 Patient Experience Survey (PES) emphasize that although most insured Americans (93%) think insurance should provide affordable access to health care, only a third (34%) think it currently does so for everyone.
- October polling data from The Commonwealth Fund show that three in 10 adults (30% with employer coverage and 33% in marketplace or individual-market plans) were paying off debt from medical or dental care, despite having insurance.
- A recent Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) poll finds that a majority (58%) of insured adults say they have experienced a problem like pre-authorization in using their health insurance in the past 12 months.
3. Voters are concerned insurers and middlemen, like pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), are placing barriers between patients and their medicines.
- PES data also find that 88% of insured Americans agree it’s wrong that they can pay more for their medicines out of pocket than their insurance company or PBM.
- Data from the same KFF poll show 16% of all insured adults experienced instances of prior authorization in the past year, noting “their health insurance denied or delated prior approval for a treatment, service visit or drug before the received it.”
4. Voters are looking to elected officials to address their real pain points by lowering out-of-pocket costs and holding middlemen accountable.
- Data from a September Morning Consult/PhRMA poll show that:
- 74% of voters believe health insurers and their PBMs should pass the rebates and discounts they receive directly to patients, so no patient pays more for their medicines than their insurer.
- 72% of voters believe PBMs should receive a fixed fee for their services, instead of charging fees tied to the price of medicines.
- 71% of voters support requiring health insurance companies and PBMs to count patient assistance, such as copay coupons and cost sharing assistance, toward the patient’s deductible.
As the 2024 election approaches, policymakers should address kitchen-table issues that most affect voters — like rising insurance costs imposed on patients and barriers to accessing medicines they need.
For more on how to build a better health system that holds middlemen accountable and lowers costs for Americans, visit phrma.org/middlemen.
For the latest data and polling on voters’ true priorities, visit phrma.org/polling.